With my logo and brand board complete, the last steps in my brand development were a website, collateral and packaging. Arguably, some of the most important pieces of developing a brand. These are the elements that my clients would see and touch, and judge me by, so that had to be perfect.
For my brand collateral, I had to think through presentation and packaging, and most importantly, what I wanted my client experience to be. When I chose my business name, many years ago, the word boutique was really important to me. I wanted clients to get the same feeling you do when you walk into a local boutique: comfortable, inspired, and that you’re the only customer they have. So I designed my brand packaging to be boutique-like: kraft tissue paper, twine and a hand written note. Once I introduced address stamps into my assortment, I added linen bags so that customers had a place to keep them long after throwing their box away.
I was never a fan of packing up orders.
(Maybe one day this is something I'll hire someone else to do!)
But working with my brand elements & keeping all my packing supplies in one place has completely changed my outlook on this task. I always felt like it was so much work, and so disorganized. But knowing what goes in each and every package, and where all those items are, has been a game changer.
Next up was my website. Once I hired a web developer, I sent her my thoughts, ideas, logos, brand board & functionality requirements, and she got to work building our current website. She did an excellent job turning my vision into reality, and I’m so thankful for her patience during this process. The entire process took 6 weeks from start to finish, and we finalized the website details just in time for our brand launch.
Because I continue to host my shop in Etsy, I did my best to brand my site there, too. Updating my header, changing the terminology in my listings, and creating links back to both my website and social media handles, made the whole experience more cohesive.
Building a brand is so much more than a logo. It's about creating an experience and lasting impression on your customers. It's about telling your story through imagery. A powerful brand can completely change your business, and its is important to be thoughtful and intentional about the process.
Of course, now that I've shared all of this, our brand is going through a slight tweaking right now. If you read my business goals for twenty-fifteen, you'll know that I plan to move our website hosting platform early this year, as well as integrate my blog into the website (instead of it having its own domain name). All that means some small revisions for the brand - nothing crazy - but making sure that everything - web buttons, categories, links, Etsy listings - are all completely seamless and consistent. I can't wait to share some of the changes with you all, very soon!